Before the 1960s almost everything about living openly as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person was illegal. New York City laws against homosexual activities were particularly harsh. The Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969 is a milestone in the quest for LGBT civil rights and provided momentum for a movement.
Vine Creek Ranch at Death Valley National Park. Steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley.
Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Interior Implements Steps to Increase Responsible Domestic Energy Production
Office of the Secretary
BLM to expedite 2011 Lease Sale in National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska; BOEMRE Announces Additional Details for Extensions of Gulf Oil & Gas Leases
WASHINGTON – In support of President Obama's strategy to spur domestic energy production on public lands, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that Interior would accelerate a lease sale in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A), holding it before the end of this year and annually after that. Secretary Salazar also announced additional details about the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement's (BOEMRE) one-year extension on oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico affected by last year's temporary suspension of deepwater drilling, in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
“As part of President Obama's comprehensive energy strategy, Interior is moving ahead with these concrete steps to continue to expand responsible and safe domestic oil production,” said Salazar. “In Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve, where there are estimates of great reserves of undiscovered oil and gas, we will hold a lease sale this year and work to hold future lease sales on an annual basis.”
“We will also grant extensions of certain offshore leases in the Gulf of Mexico that were impacted by disruptions caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the temporary suspensions of deepwater drilling,” Salazar continued. “By using existing authorities, we are providing offshore energy companies the time to meet important safety standards when it comes to exploration and drilling.”
Accelerating Lease Sales in the NPR-A
The NPR-A is a vast area on Alaska's North Slope, west of Prudhoe Bay. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates the reserve and adjacent state waters contain 896 million barrels of conventional, undiscovered oil and 53 trillion cubic feet of conventional, undiscovered non-associated gas.
Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will publish a notice in the Federal Register in the near future announcing a 30-day period in which interested parties may nominate or comment on the available tracts in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A).
The BLM has conducted six lease tract sales in both the Northwest and Northeast Planning Areas of the NPR-A, each about two years apart. Lease tracts were offered in the Northeast in 1999, 2002, and 2010; and in the Northwest in 2004 and 2006. In 2008, lease tracts were offered in both the Northeast and Northwest planning areas. The BLM currently administers about 191 federal oil and gas leases in the reserve. More information about the NPR-A is at http://www.blm.gov/ak/st.
Extending Gulf Leases
Today Salazar will also issue a Secretarial Memorandum directing BOEMRE to issue a Notice to Lessees and Operators (NTL) describing how operators can request one-year extensions for their qualifying deepwater leases. To qualify, leaseholders must demonstrate that there was no oil or gas production on the lease as of May 15, 2011; that the lease is in deepwater (depths greater than 500 feet); and that the lease is scheduled to expire on or before December 31, 2015.
The lease extensions will provide lessees and operators additional time to proceed with exploration and development of their leaseholds while fully complying with important new safety, environmental, spill response and containment requirements.
President Obama announced both of these policies on May 14. The President's commitment to safe and responsible domestic production is part of the Administration's overall Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future, a broad effort to secure America's energy future and protect consumers by producing more oil at home and reducing our dependence on oil by using cleaner, alternative fuels and improving our energy efficiency.